The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported another death involving faulty Takata airbags. This is the fourth fatality this year, bringing up the confirmed body count to a total of 23.
According to NHTSA, the person's death was caused by a faulty Takata driver’s side airbag inflator that ruptured during a crash. The vehicle involved was a 2002 Honda Accord.
“Whatever you’re doing, stop now and check to see if your vehicle has a Takata airbag recall. If it does, make an appointment to get your free repair as soon as possible,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson. "If this airbag ruptures in a crash, it could kill you or someone you love, or leave them with critical, life-altering injuries. Every day that passes when you don’t get a recalled airbag replaced puts you and your family at greater risk of injury or death."
The NHTSA can't stress enough to vehicle owners to check whether their cars have an open Takata airbag recall. Owners can do so via NHTSA's recall lookup tool or through the agency's SaferCar mobile app. Those involved vehicles are to contact their dealerships to get their airbags replaced free of charge. NHTSA also has a list of contact information for each manufacturer in case your vehicle is part of the recall.
The agency also encourages owners to take recalls seriously and actively check whether their vehicles are involved in a recall, Takata-related or otherwise. Owners can sign up for NHTSA alerts through the agency's website.
First discovered in 2013, the Takata airbag recall involves tens of millions of vehicles globally, which is among the biggest scandals that rocked the automotive industry. It includes vehicles from various manufacturers. The culprit is the faulty airbag inflators that, through long-term exposure to high heat and humidity, can cause the airbags to explode when deployed. Needless to say, the explosion is dangerous and causes injuries and in multiple cases, deaths.